In 2014, 22.5 million people over the age of 12 experienced an addiction to drugs or alcohol across the country. Most of the 18.5 percent of those who got help for their addictions participated in outpatient treatment as part of their recovery program. The National Institute of Drug Abuse explains, “After completing intensive treatment, patients’ transition to regular outpatient treatment, which meets less often and for fewer hours per week to help sustain their recovery.”
While many patients who engage in outpatient treatment have completed an inpatient or intensive outpatient treatment program, others with mild to moderate addictions may only need the level of care that an outpatient treatment program provides. Commonly available in a group therapy format, outpatient treatment is an ideal opportunity for patients to practice healthy social and coping skills, while gaining perspective from others on the same journey to recovery.
Many patients continue in outpatient addiction treatment regularly throughout their recovery to maintain their sobriety, as well as mentor other patients in early recovery, which also serves as spiritual fulfillment for the mentor, regularly fostering a lifelong commitment to recovery.
Regular outpatient addiction treatment also accommodates patients with employment, school or childcare obligations and solid support networks at home, providing they have appropriate control of their powerful substance cravings.